By Jena Lynde-Smith

To build a media platform that is both deeply intelligent and a pleasure to read.

That is Michael Petrou’s goal as the newly appointed Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning digital publication, Open Canada. Published by the Canadian International Council (CIC), the site produces multimedia content meant to analyze and tell stories about foreign policy and international affairs.

“I’m proud and excited to be taking on this role. I’ve spent much of my career, in journalism and academia, thinking and writing about Canada’s place in the world, so this feels like a natural fit,” said Petrou, who also teaches on journalism and conflict in Carleton’s journalism program.

Petrou is an established foreign correspondent. His career took off when he was sent to Afghanistan by the Ottawa Citizen to cover the aftermath of 9/11. Since then, he has won three National Magazine Awards and has reported across Central Asia, Africa, and Europe. In 2017, he was the recipient of the James Travers Foreign Corresponding Fellowship, which he used to report on Syrian refugees in the Middle East. He was then named a Martin Wise Goodman Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 2018.

Petrou has also made his mark educating the next generation at Carleton University. From 2018-2020, he served as a fellow-in-residence for the Global and International Studies program. He is currently an adjunct research professor for Carleton’s Department of History and contract instructor for the School of Journalism. His course, Journalism and Conflict, comes highly praised by students.

“It’s so inspiring to be taught by someone who has lived through the situations we discuss,” said Sarah MacFarlane, a fourth-year journalism student in the conflict course. “His experience in the field is reflected in his teaching and it is clear in every class how passionate he is about his work.”

In his new position with Open Canada, Petrou plans to reignite Canadian conversations on foreign policy and federal politics.

“Rarely has there been such a need for Canadians to engage with the world beyond our borders, and to think about the sort of foreign policy they want their country to have.

“My goal as editor is to broaden this conversation to Canadians from all walks of life. I hope to do this by seeking out both new and established voices and perspectives, and by building a digital platform that is both deeply intelligent and a pleasure to read,” Petrou said.

The upcoming issue of Open Canada will tackle the erosion of global democracy, peace negotiations in Afghanistan, the impact of the US elections on Canada, and will include a series of personal essays by readers about coming to and leaving Canada. Visit the publication here.

Thursday, October 1, 2020 in ,
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